History KS3 / KS4: How challenging was the life of a pilot in World War One?

James May looks at the role of aeroplanes in World War One.

From the early years of the war when they were mainly used for reconnaissance, to dog fights between enemy aircraft, and ultimately aerial bombing.

Early pilots used metal darts to drop over enemy lines, despite objections from some in the Royal Flying Corps.

James demonstrates just how difficult a task this was.

Pilots lives were dangerous, with unreliable planes, enemy fire and no parachutes!

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

Students could be shown a picture of a World War One plane and be asked to come up with ideas about what it might be used for, and to identify similarities and differences between a modern RAF plane.

They could then watch the clip and list all the uses of places in World War One and then the dangers and challenges pilots place.

Next they could compare the life of a pilot with the life of a soldier in the trenches to come up with a conclusion about whose life was more dangerous.

Key Stage 4

Students could use this clip as part of a wider study on new technology in World War One.

They could use the clip as a starting point to explain how aeroplanes could contribute to the wider war effort- with reconnaissance, aerial bombing and dog fights.

This could then be used to evaluate aeroplanes importance in overall victory.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4/National 5 and Higher in Scotland.